TWO friends are set to represent Great Britain in a world rugby union amateur tournament in December.

Leigh Fire Station firefighter Dan Ogden and plasterer Dean Balmer will be jetting off to Dubai to play in an over 35s rugby 10s contest from December 2 to 9.

The pair, who played rugby league together in their youth at Leigh Miners Rangers, will be part of the Great Britain Bulldogs squad.

The rest of the players are mainly from Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Former Bedford High School pupil Dan, 38, who also works as a part-time personal trainer, said: "I am really excited about the tournament and Dean is as well.

"He has represented Great Britain before so he knows what to expect.

"I have played rugby league for the fire brigade in the last 10 years against other services like the ambulance service.

"I have not played rugby union before though but I think I will adapt.

"We are being taught the basics of it. The 10s is not the same as the main game - it is quite quick."

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There will be around 15 teams, with some including former professional players, taking part in the competition including one from Wigan duchenne muscular dystrophy charity Joining Jack.

Former Westleigh High School student Dean, 37, who has represented Greater Britain in the Pacific islands and South Africa, is a forward while Dan is suited as a centre or out on the wing.

Dean played for Leigh Miners and Leigh East in his amateur playing days.

The friends are also supporting State of Mind charity in the tournament.

They are also hoping to secure sponsorships from businesses to help with the cost of their expenses.

Firms who sponsor the players will get a tour playing short with their logo on it presented to them

To get in touch about sponsoring the players email Dan on or contact him on 07590 532753.